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Tottenham Hotspur: Grading Spurs' January Transfer Activity

Frank WagnerCorrespondent IFebruary 1, 2013

Tottenham Hotspur: Grading Spurs' January Transfer Activity

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    With the January transfer window now over, Tottenham's squad is basically set for the next three months or so, as they go into the all-important end to the Premier League season.

    Spurs had a fairly quiet window, acquiring only two players and selling just one.

    As Champions League football is still very much in the balance, chairman Daniel Levy and manager Andre Villas-Boas will have to hope these moves were enough to guide the side to their season goals.

    So just how well did the London club do in their decisions this January?

    Here are grades for the biggest moves Tottenham made this January transfer window.

BUY: Ezekiel Fryers, Standard Liege

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    Early January saw Tottenham swoop for Standard Liege left-back Ezekiel Fryers for a fee the Guardian reported to be in the region of £3 million.

    The 20-year-old Englishman had apparently begun to feel homesick in Belgium and fallen out of favor with the club, cutting the price a bit and allowing a cheap buy.

    The move is clearly with an eye toward the future, as Spurs will hope the youngster will be a fixture at left-fullback for years to come.

    However, it could also pay dividends in the present, as Fryers can learn from Benoit Assou-Ekotto and add depth in defense.

    Sir Alex Ferguson may not have liked the tactics Tottenham employed in signing the former Manchester United player, but the North London club should benefit from them.

     

    Grade: A-

LOAN: Andros Townsend, QPR

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    With Spurs overflowing with fine options in the midfield, 21-year-old Andros Townsend fell so far down the depth chart that the club had no use for him at the moment.

    Hence, AVB decided to loan him out to struggling QPR, who can do nothing but help Tottenham's pursuit of the Champions League from here on in.

    Townsend had made a few appearances for Spurs this season and even scored a few goals, but it's hard to imagine a scenario in which the club would really need him.

    Andros does have a lot of potential, though, and some time with previous manager Harry Redknapp will hopefully do wonders for his progression.

    This seems like a win-win for everyone.

     

    Grade: A-

BUY: Lewis Holtby, Schalke

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    Lewis Holtby's move to Tottenham for a reported £1.5 million fee might just be the deal of the transfer window in the Premier League.

    The 22-year-old German midfielder was flourishing with Schalke before the move and has already earned a few caps for his national team.

    Further, he seemed genuinely thrilled to be coming to White Hart Lane, calling the signing "a dream move."

    With Sandro out for the season, the move does wonders for Tottenham in the midfield, adding depth and giving an option for the future.

    Lewis' debut with the club came on Wednesday against Norwich, as he came off the bench for a struggling Spurs side and immediately gave them the shot of adrenaline needed to come from behind for a draw.

    This could be the bargain of a lifetime for Tottenham.

     

    Grade: A+

LOAN: Heurelho Gomes, Hoffenheim

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    With 25-year-old Hugo Lloris in goal and 41-year-old Brad Friedel still going strong, it is hard to imagine Tottenham's need for Heurelho Gomes.

    Gomes served well as keeper for Spurs in their run to the Champions League a few years ago, but several errors and inconsistent play saw him lose his position at the club.

    A loan to Hoffenheim should help the struggling German side and will give Gomes some first-team football, but it is only a temporary fix.

    Spurs should sell the Brazilian keeper as soon as possible and get as much money as they can for him.

     

    Grade: B-

SALE: Jermaine Jenas

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    Tottenham's deadline-day sale of Jermaine Jenas was another move that the club could afford with their vast options in the midfield.

    The 29-year-old had been a key to Tottenham's side years ago, but fell out of favor and was loaned out each of the past two seasons.

    With Jenas set to come back from his loan at Nottingham Forest this January, Spurs found he was excess to their needs and sold him to his former manager, Harry Redknapp, at QPR.

    The move should benefit QPR and trim some of the excess from the Spurs squad.

    Perhaps the sale came a bit late, but at least Jenas has moved on now.

     

    Grade: B+

RECALLED: Harry Kane, Norwich

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    Tottenham's decision to recall Harry Kane from Norwich City makes perfect sense for all parties.

    Since he was loaned to Carrow Road in September, the 19-year-old striker had only appeared six times for his club. Hence, he was not getting the experience he was hoping for, and the club didn't need him going forward.

    Further, with Emmanuel Adebayor away at the Africa Cup of Nations, Spurs are in a tough spot in terms of strikers. Kane obviously won't be competing with Ade or Jermain Defoe for the top spot at the position, but the youngster provides a stopgap in case of a worst-case injury scenario.

    Given that Tottenham failed to sign another striker in the window, this move was a good one.

     

    Grade: A

Overall

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    In terms of each individual move by Tottenham, this was a successful transfer window for the club.

    The signing of Holtby could be historic, the swoop for Fryers could be awesome and the loan of Andros Townsend could benefit Spurs greatly in the long run. Perhaps things could have been handled slightly better with Gomes or Jenas, but those mistakes will not be killers.

    However, the story might just be in what the club didn't do in the transfer window.

    After seemingly putting all of their eggs in one basket, i.e. a transfer for Internacional striker Leandro Damiao, Spurs ended up signing no striker in the window.

    With the club struggling upfront and really lacking depth, an addition at the position seemed necessary. Without that addition, it seems like Spurs are gambling with a decision that could prove vital in the race for the Champions League.

    The recall of Harry Kane from Norwich City does provide a bit of relief, but the 19-year-old doesn't come with the experience that one would have hoped.

    With the race for fourth already so close, Tottenham will have to hope that the inability to bring a new striker in doesn't prove lethal in pursuit of their season goals.

    Perhaps their final grade will be adjusted in time with the level of their success over the next few months, but for now, Spurs' grade suffers a bit from their inability to sign a striker.

     

    Grade: B+


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